This picturesque town, situated on a flat, fertile plain beside the Nan River, is characterized by traditional teak houses on stilts and neat vegetable gardens. It is one of a number of towns in Nan province inhabited by the Thai Lue, an ethnic minority related to the Tai people of Southern China, who began to settle in the region in 1836.
Wat Nong Bua, which was built in 1862, has features typical of a Thai Lue temple, including a two-tiered roof and a carved wooden portico. Its murals are thought to be the work of the same artists who painted those at Wat Phumin. Though the murals at Wat Nong Bua are more faded than Wat Phumin’s, their depictions of 19th-century life are just as fascinating. As at Wat Phumin, scenes from the jataka tales are also featured here. To the west of town is a textile factory, where traditional Thai Lue fabrics are made using handoperated looms. The distinctive, multicolored fabrics are for sale in the adjacent store. Nong Bua is the site of a two-day festival held every three years in December (2014, 2017, and so on), during which the villagers pay homage to their ancestors.